(c) 2007 Clarets Museum Copyright
the years, and it is too no surprise that he is present on the
Wall of Fame, The Irishman delighted Clarets fans for over a
decade, and his transfer from Turf Moor still leaves a bitter
taste in the mouth, especially for the number of supporters
Jimmy McIlroy was born in a small village
outside Belfast, and was brought up by his
father Harry McIlroy and his Uncle Willie
McIlroy, both players with local professional
and semi professional teams, to love
football, and he trained heartily with
a tennis ball to improve his close control.

After playing for a local side, he was
spotted and picked up by Glentoran, and
made his debut in the first team in
1948-49 season.

In March 1950, Burnley manager Frank
Hill travelled to Northern Ireland to view the player and promptly paid
Glentoran £8,000 for his services, and by October that year, when he
was only 18 years old, he started in the Burnley first team, a position
he held through out his career at Turf Moor. Jimmy McIlroy was never
dropped from the Burnley side, and only missed games through
International call ups or injury.

During his time at Burnley he constantly scored goals, and by
1952/53 season he had broken into double figures, scoring 11 goals,
the season after he went on to score 17 League goals.

He represented Northern Ireland 51 times whilst at Burnley, and
represented Northern Ireland during the 1958 World Cup.

Whilst playing under
Harry Potts, Burnley had their most successful
period since the Second World War, and Jimmy McIlroy was the best
player on the park. In
1959-60 Burnley won the League
Championship, two years later they got to the
1962 FA Cup Final and
finished 2nd in the League.

But then in 1963 Jimmy McIlroy was placed on the Transfer List, and
within a week he was sold to Second Division Stoke City for
£25,000. Rumour mills went into over drive as supporters struggled
to comprehnd his transfer, and famously many Burnley fans refused
to return to Turf Moor in the aftermath of his sale.

He had played just under 500 League and Cup games for Burnley
during his career, scoring over 100 goals, both figures are amongst
the highest for a player at Burnley.

Whilst at Stoke, he helped them to win the Second Division
Championship, before moving on to Oldham as player-manager.

He returned to Stoke to be chief Coach, and then became Nat
Lofthouse's assistant manager a Bolton Wanderers in 1970.

After he left football, he became a sport writer at the Burnley Express,
and still lives in the Burnley area.

Upon the redevelopment of Turf Moor in 1996, Burnley Football Club
named the new stand that had replaced the Bee Hole End, the Jimmy
McIlroy Stand in his Honour.
James McIlroy
25 October 1931 @ Lambeg,
Northern Ireland
Burnley Appearances:
497 (439 League)
Burnley Goals:
131 (116 League)
International Caps:
55 Northern Ireland (10 Goals)
Other Teams:
Stoke City
Oldham Athletic
Stoke City
Bolton Wanderers